March 7, 2016

Himachal government has not asked for security from the Centre for the India-Pakistan World T20 match--Virbhadra Singh

Vijyender Sharma

SHIMLA------------Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday said that his government has not asked for security from the Centre for the India-Pakistan World T20 match slated to be held on March 19 in Dharamsala.

He, however, said the ruling dispensation at the Centre can send the paramilitary forces if they want to.

He also insisted that if the ex-servicemen protest against the match then the state police would not initiate any action against them.

"We have not asked for security forces from the Centre. If they want to send, they can. There would be a tight security, but if the ex-servicemen protest and form a wall, our police will not take action against them and will not resort to baton-charge," Singh told the media.

"Why doesn't Anurag Thakur take the people into confidence and talk to them about the issue? He should talk to the people, know their emotions and should try to persuade them," he added.

The Chief Minister had earlier this voiced his apprehension to the match between the two Asian neighbours in Himachal Pradesh.

"At this point of time, Pakistan's match should not be in Dharamsala. The BCCI should either cancel or shift the match to other state to honour the sentiments of families of martyrs," he said.

Singh's comments came after the ex-servicemen and families of slain army officials opposed the move to host a match involving Pakistan in the wake of the recent Pathankot terror attacks.

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president, however, stated that the India-Pakistan bilateral series will not be conducted in Dharamsala until the relations between the two subcontinent nations improve.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, Anurag Thakur, has said it would be 'very difficult' to shift the proposed match from Dharamsala at this stage. 

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